Case Study – Penetration of Electronic Stability Control and Curtain Airbags in the Victorian
Vehicle safety is one of the main pillars of the Safe System approach and its importance in combating the road toll is well recognised. In recent years, a number of vehicle safety features have gradually entered the market, with a few showing great road safety potential, particularly Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Curtain Airbags (CA). The proven safety benefits of ESC and CA made them worthy candidates for promotion by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and its road safety partners in Victoria.
Since the commencement of promotional activities and public education campaigns, the number of new vehicles sold in Victoria with ESC and CA has risen from a low of 22% and 24% respectively in 2006 to close to 60% and 50% respectively at the end of 2009. More importantly, public awareness and demand for these safety features encouraged the Victorian Government to ensure they were available on all new passenger vehicles, and in 2008 it was the first jurisdiction in Australia to mandate ESC and CA in new vehicles from 2011 and 2012, respectively.
This paper will provide a detailed case study on how public education created critical demand for safety features and paved the way for the Government to mandate these technologies.